Friday, May 7, 2010

Eating, Drinking, Over-thinking

Ok, so yesterday I was at the library and I stumbled across a really interesting book. It's called Eating, Drinking, Over-thinking by Dr. Susan Nolen-Hoeksema. Basically the core premise of the book relates to the fact that, as women, we have a tendancy to internalize our stress i.e. because of conditioning etc. we cannot adequately express our frustrations or problems and, as a result, we find ourselves in what the author terms as the the 'toxic triangle' (food, drink and depression).

It goes into great detail about the fact that we are acutely aware of our feelings and the reaction of our bodies to problems i.e. tension, agitation, lethargy and a sense of being out of control. Consequently, when we are under stress, we are likely to do something to change how our bodies feel which can cause us to binge-eat in an attempt to escape our feelings/refuse to eat and relish the feelings of power and control that comes from self-denial (but which ultimately leads to binging anyway). We may also drink or take sedatives to anesthethize the feelings, or we may just spend our time thinking and re-thinking about things that have happened/things we may have said or done etc.
I guess, in a nutshell, it's telling us that if we don't find another way of dealing with our problems or expressing ourselves, the natural outcome will be one, two or three of the following: yo-yo eating habits, excessive drinking and/or depression. It does also give us alternative ways of dealing with these problems but what I really found good was the fact that the book refers to real-life examples which I am sure we can all relate to and these make you feel just that little more 'normal' rather than abnormal. Whether or not you will actually derive any benefit from it is another thing (and entirely up to you) but sometimes it is just nice to feel understood! I'm also pretty damn sure that the majority of women actually suffer from exactly the same feelings as we do -they're just not prepared to admit it.

I don't know that I'll ever not want to be thin but I do know that when I'm at my happiest, food becomes less of an obsession and I do have a natural tendancy to be thin so I'm not going to give up on that dream of finding that sense of contentment again which will result in me reverting to my most natural state anyway! However, I do honestly believe that this principle applies to all of us i.e. if we were genuinely happy and content, we'd all be naturally thin because we really would only need to eat when hungry and finish when satisfied. Thus, restriction or over-eating really wouldn't be an issue!
Here's hoping we all get there eventually!

Love and best wishes to you all,
C xxx.